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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Does the Muslim Brotherhood = Saddam Hussein = Ayatollah Khomeini?

The go-to guy on matters from the Muslim world is Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He addresses the current scare-mongering about the Muslim Brotherhood taking over the uprising -- too early to call it the Egyptian Revolution? -- with some real analysis of what the MB is in Egypt and 2011, and how important it is within the range of Egyptian society today.

Bottom line: Egypt today is a lot different from Iran in 1979, with different economic forces at work and a more established secular middle class -- with "secular" having its own meaning that may include piety within the Muslim context -- while the Muslim Brotherhood is not al-Qaeda.

Cole, of course, is too rational for the Neo-Conservatives, and gets attacked a lot. But the Neo-Conservatives said Saddam had nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, and were crowing up a storm when Bush strutted around in his jump-suit under the "Mission Accomplished" banner. Cole said we should listen to the inspectors about whether Saddam had WMDs or not, and said invading Iraq would be a mistake for many reasons that would undermine real American interests. You be the judge whether you should pay attention to Juan Cole or John "Handlebar" Bolton.

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